Decision 2020

Candidates Focus on Economics at San Diego Mayoral Forum

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Four candidates for Mayor in San Diego shared a forum stage Thursday to talk economics, focusing on city support for small businesses.

NBC 7 partnered with the Strategic Alliance for the forum moderated by Alex Presha, host of NBC 7's "Politically Speaking."

The theme: "What does a strong and inclusive economy look like with our next mayor?"

Attendees heard from four candidates, including Councilmember Barbara Bry, Assemblymember Todd Gloria, Councilmember Scott Sherman, and Community Activist Tasha Williamson.

Councilmember Bry said she'd make it a point to level the playing field for all businesses.

"As mayor I will make sure all small businesses, union, non-union -- it doesn't matter who they're owned by -- have fair access to city contracts," Bry said.

Williamson said city leaders can look to existing resources to help businesses.

"We do have a business department, and we need to make sure that business department is doing way more to make sure businesses are thriving," Williamson said.

When asked how the high cost of housing affects the small business community, Assemblyman Gloria said the problem lies in supply.

"We are not producing homes that people can afford to live in. What should we do? Continue some of the things we've already been doing -- streamlining, updating community plans."

Councilmember Sherman said tweaks to how the city regulates housing construction could help.

"We concentrate a lot on the subsidized taxpayer housing but fees we charge force builders to make luxury housing we don't do anything in the middle," Sherman said.

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